The Tube, London's subway system, is on strike. And cyclists are taking to the roads in an attempt to get to work on time. But many are new and nervous and the jammed roads are far from safe.
So the London Cycling Campaign has organised a "Bike Tube". In five different locations around town, cyclists can "buddy-up" and join an organised ride into town with other more experienced cyclists. In addition, thousands of cycling maps are being distributed and an extra 1,000 cycle parking spaces will be provided around the city.
Rag-tag groups of hundreds of novices took to the roads in these organised rides. The volunteer cyclists and staff from the London Cycling Campaign guided the groups around busy interchanges and along quieter streets and cycle lanes at a sedate pace. "This is actually just like the Tube," said one cyclist, it leaves late and goes extremely slowly."
Some passers-by cheered whilst drivers jeered. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson had called for Londoners to bring on a Blitz spirit, World War 2 style, stiff upper lip. Riding a bike in central London is not quite the same as being strafed by bombers, but it is a scary prospect for many. There is safety in numbers as the Bike Tube proved.
Extra river boats were also added to the Thames river transport system to accommodate commuters.
Image from the Guardian
Of course there is always walking...